MCC Theatre and Film Arts students and faculty earn national recognition -- 2022 KCACTF

Photo of Antigone scene with multiple actors. MESA, Arizona – June 29, 2022 – Mesa Community College’s Theatre and Film Arts students receive the 2022 National Awards of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) for their production of Antigone.

Antigone, which was featured in the 2021 Phoenix Film Festival, originally showcased at the Region VIII KCACTF Festival in February where students earned numerous awards and recognition.

Each year the KCACTF national selection team, representing all eight regions, acknowledges outstanding work submitted by colleges, universities and students.

“These recognitions are very special and an indicator of the quality of the education and work we do at MCC,” said MCC Theatre Program Director, Kara Thomson.

MCC Theatre and Film Arts students, alumni, faculty and staff produced Antigone as a film during the fall and spring semesters of 2020-2021.

“It was the department's approach to creating a safe and valuable learning experience during the height of the pandemic, said Adriana Diaz, MCC theatre design and production faculty. “More than 50 people were involved in the production of the show.”

“We are really proud that Antigone earned the highest acknowledgment,” said Diaz. “It should also be noted that the MCC designers and dramaturgs awarded were students whose work was being compared against work by students in MFA and graduate programs. This is an amazing honor.”

The 2022 National Awards of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival for MCC’s production of Antigone were awarded in the following categories.

  • Special Achievement in the Production of a Play (college recognition)
  • Special Achievement in Costume Design: Abby Lopez, MCC student
  • Special Achievement in Mask Design: Lexi Trujillo, MCC student
  • Special Achievement in Sound Design: Nick Magel, MCC student
  • Special Achievement in Dramaturgy: Kalie Marie, MCC student

The annual KCACTF recognizes and celebrates the finest and most diverse work produced in university and college theatre programs. During the festivals, students test their talents in a vast array of theatre specialties and earn recognition against rigorous competition from other community colleges, four-year institutions and graduate programs. Nationally, 550 colleges compete in KCACTF, with 71 competing in Region VIII. Approximately 45 of the colleges in Region VIII are four-year schools with the remaining being two-year institutions.

MCC Theatre and Film Arts faculty Kara Thomson was recognized with the Gold Medallion for her contributions to the Region VIII festival during the past thirteen years. It is the most prestigious regional award given by KCACTF and is considered one of the great honors in theatre education.

MCC will host the Region VIII Festival in Spring of 2023.

Learn more about the MCC Theatre & Film Arts program at

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Media contact: Dawn Zimmer, or 480-461-7892

The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) is a year-round program in eight geographic regions in the United States. Regional activities are coordinated through eight KCACTF regional chairs and eight KCACTF playwriting awards chairs. With funding and administrative support from the Kennedy Center, the regional chair coordinates with the Co-Managers of KCACTF all aspects of productions on the local and regional level and supervises regional-level KCACTF award competitions. In January and February of each year, regional festivals showcase the finest of each region’s entered productions and offer a variety of activities, including workshops, symposia, and regional-level award programs. Since its inception, KCACTF has given more than 400,000 college theater students the opportunity to have their work critiqued, improve their dramatic skills and receive national recognition for excellence. More than 16 million theatergoers have attended approximately 10,000 festival productions nationwide. For more Information, visit

Mesa Community College is nationally recognized for university transfer, career and technical programs, civic engagement, service-learning and innovative approaches to education. On average MCC students provide 23,000 hours of community service annually. For more than 50 years, the college has served as a resource for education, workforce development and lifelong learning. Host to more than 25,400 students annually, MCC offers degree and certificate programs at its two campuses and additional locations through a combination of modalities. MCC is transforming how it champions student success through Guided Pathways with Integrated Support Services and a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. MCC is a Hispanic Serving Institution with nearly 50% of its students being the first in their families to attend college. MCC has the largest indigenous student population of all the Maricopa Community Colleges; its American Indian Institute serves students from the 22 federally recognized Arizona tribes as well as out-of-state tribes. The diverse student body includes hundreds of international students from around the world. Award-winning faculty are dedicated to student success, providing the education and training that empowers MCC students to attain their goals. Located in the East Valley of Phoenix, Arizona, on the traditional territories of the O'odham, Piipaash and Yavapai Peoples, MCC is one of 10 colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District. Visit to learn more.

An education in Theatre & Film Arts at MCC provides a valuable base from which to launch careers in film, television, stage, management, marketing, advertising, law, politics, theology, social work, or therapeutic fields. Students are provided opportunities to work with industry professionals from across the country and be successful at national competitions such as the national Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival and the AriZoni Theatre Awards of Excellence. Experience ranges from acting, design, writing, directing and serving as a crew member in a variety of productions. Learn more about the program and upcoming performances at

Mesa Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) --

The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is an EEO/AA institution and an equal opportunity employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or national origin. A lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in the career and technical education programs of the District. MCCCD does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs or activities. For Title IX/504 concerns, call the following number to reach the appointed coordinator: (480) 731-8499. For additional information, as well as a listing of all coordinators within the Maricopa College system, visit

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Publication Date: 
Wednesday, June 29, 2022